Whether you’re into wine, relaxing, or both, there’s a lot to enjoy in Los Olivos, California, located about 45 minutes outside of Santa Barbara.
With a climate similar to that of Tuscany, it’s no surprise that this region is known for its production of wine and olives. Wineries and horse ranches dot the surrounding valley, while the charming town of Los Olivos is full of modern wine tasting shops, farm to table restaurants and shops.
From the town’s main intersection there are really only three blocks of town to explore so you quickly get the feeling you can see it all, making it easy to downshift into the cozy town’s slow pace. I’m not into wine, which is the main focus of the town with its 25+ wine tasting rooms, but I enjoyed sitting at the cafe watching people and dogs and popping into the charming home and clothing boutiques.
Along the road from Los Olivos to nearby Solvang are several homes and ranches with miniature horses decorating their front yards. You can pull over to the side of the road to see them grazing, and if you’re lucky, one may come up to you for a snuggle.
Also nearby is the famous Ostrichland USA, where you have the unique opportunity to feed ostriches and emus.
If you are staying in the area and looking for some night life, The Maverick is about the only option, but it is unexpectedly lively with pre- and post-wedding events from all the people attending weddings at the nearby wineries. You’ll fit in best if you wear a cowboy hat and boots, but don’t expect to hear much country music – it’s club / dancing music all night long. Be prepared to stand on the bar and stick a dollar bill to the ceiling!
Insider Tip: None of the wine tasting rooms or boutiques seem to have public restrooms, so they send you to port-a-potties down the street. Instead of braving the port-a-potties, stop in at the cafe or have a bite to eat at Sides restaurant, which both have lovely real restrooms!